Valuing Kisses

 

On Rosh Hashanah, my family did something we have never done before: at our table, we read out The Kisses.

What is a Kiss? A child trips and falls, scraping her knee. Tears and cries flow. The mother comes, scoops up the child in an embrace, and delivers, with great theater: a kiss.

Physiologically, nothing has happened. The knee is still scraped. And yet, everything has changed, because the child knows they are not alone. The mere thought of having someone share your pain, of being there for you, somehow – miraculously – can make it all better.

The idea is found in the Torah: when Joseph is sold into slavery, the traders are transporting spices, instead of any of a number of nastier things that were found in trade. It sounds stupid: your family has just rejected you and sold you into slavery, but it is “ok” because G-d has provided an air freshener!

And yet: the air freshener is a kiss: it is a way of saying, “I am here. I share your pain.” But for the kiss to work, you first have to be receptive to the idea of not being alone and afraid; you have to be ok with the idea that G-d is present.

So last year, our family took on the idea that every time we feel a kiss, we would share it with an email to our family group – and we did. We wrote about everything from late arrivals that turned out to be “just-in-time,” to listening to that inner voice (the “still, small voice”) and leading to a great negotiation result, to all the times when things could have gone wrong, but instead, sweetly, serendipitously, worked out. All the things that had to go just right – and did! – for me to make it to my mother’s deathbed at the right time despite tens of thousands of miles flown in the weeks before.

It was about 15 pages of snippets in all. We had forgotten most of them over the year, even though at the time they merited a mention. (There are surely many more kisses which we never became aware of – think of the accidents you didn’t have).

On Rosh Hashanah, we read them out over the course of a few meals, and we toasted G-d, and the relationship with Him that allows us to recognize His kisses.

May we all, in this coming year, be similarly blessed to never be alone, to recognize when nice things happen to us, to always be grateful for those things, and be comforted in good times as well as in bad. Because kisses matter.

This post is another result of the @iwe and @susanquinn partnership.

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There are 10 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    I very much like this idea.

    • #1
    • October 7, 2019, at 1:56 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I guess the challenge will be to notice when I’m receiving a kiss so that I can record it. I love the idea!

    • #2
    • October 7, 2019, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Vance Richards Member

    iWe:

    What is a Kiss? A child trips and falls, scraping her knee. Tears and cries flow. The mother comes, scoops up the child in an embrace, and delivers, with great theater: a kiss.

    Physiologically, nothing has happened. The knee is still scraped. And yet, everything has changed, because the child knows they are not alone. The mere thought of having someone share your pain, of being there for you, somehow – miraculously – can make it all better.

    When I became a Christian, after a decade of calling myself an atheist, I remember how immediately everything about my life seemed better. Truth was, nothing was different from before, same job, income, lack of girlfriends, etc., but I had a new perspective and knowledge that I could have a relationship with the living G-d. The mother’s kiss is a great analogy for that.

    • #3
    • October 7, 2019, at 2:06 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Samuel Block Member

    Excellent. 

    • #4
    • October 7, 2019, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    The mother’s kiss is a great analogy for that.

    • #5
    • October 7, 2019, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    So beautiful. I love this idea. Thank you for sharing it.

    I have a post up that tells of a “kiss”that I know made my life wonderful. That’s one I hope I’ll never forget, but there are lots I’m sure I’ve forgotten. The idea of recording them and sharing them is beautiful.

    • #6
    • October 7, 2019, at 2:40 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. David Foster Member

    Reminds me of Tom Russell’s song ‘It Goes Away’

    • #7
    • October 7, 2019, at 2:50 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. She Thatcher
    She

    Lovely. Thank you for sharing this.

    • #8
    • October 7, 2019, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Bee Bob Member

    A beautiful way to bring Gd consciousness into daily life.

    • #9
    • October 8, 2019, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Jules PA Member

    Bless you for sharing such supportive insights. 

    May you and all the iWe’s have an easy fast. 

    • #10
    • October 8, 2019, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes